Changes to Choosing a Pitcher for a Game*
If you look back at the rules for how the
rotation is handled, it's never actually worked that way.
In practice, if your starter wasn't available for his turn, we
checked the spot starters. If neither of them could go, you
got a Pinesitter. You'll notice though, that I should have
been checking to see if someone could move up in the rotation.
For 2005, we'll go back to that method - though slightly
modified. If your regular starter can't pitch, we'll still
check the spot starters next. However, if needed, we'll then
see if someone else in the rotation can move up to cover the start
and hope the next time around your normal guy is ready or a spot
starter is available.
Note: pitchers who move up still must have 4 games of rest - so
this is likely to occur only at the beginning of the season or if
you reorder your rotation during the year. It will also have a
ripple effect throughout the rotation, so it still could cause
problems later (and perhaps cause some issues if you reorder the
rotation again soon), but you may get lucky and avoid the Pinesitter
altogether, which is the prime goal.
Salary Rebates for players cut in the off-season*
Previously, all contracts were guaranteed in the off-season -
meaning that if you cut a player between the time you sign him
(whether you carried him over, drafted him in the Redistribution
Draft, or got him as a free agent) and Opening Day, you got none of
that money back. Part of the idea in this is to reduce the
transaction volume by cutting out speculative transactions such as
sign one week, cut the next. However, this can put a team in a
bind who needs to free up salary room or has a player go down in
Starting with the 2004-05 off-season, teams that cut a player
before Opening Day will get a 50% salary rebate. Again,
players already under multi-year contracts and players making under
250 will not be eligible for salary rebate. If you can hold
out, that rebate goes back up to 80% when the season begins.
Trades in the off-season will continue to be done at 100% salary
assumption/rebate for the teams involved.
Spot Starters become Spot Pitchers*
In a major variation for how spot starters are viewed, the 2 spot
positions now become spot pitchers - for both starting and relief
work. Spot pitchers will fill in for open starts as they have
done before, but now, if a team is missing a reliever and needs his
stats, the spot pitchers are eligible to fill in from the bullpen -
perhaps allowing the team to avoid the Pinesitter Pitcher.
Should there be an open slot, a spot pitcher with eligible relief
appearances (no starts will count for this), will move into the
bullpen formula for that game. If that pitcher is needed as a
starter for that game, he cannot be included for the bullpen.
He still must rest 4 games between starts, but there will be no rest
requirement between appearances as a starter or reliever.
Note - This does not mean that 6 or 7 pitchers can be used to
fulfill relief minimums. It provides an opportunity to have a
pitcher replace another pitcher in the bullpen formula who has no
appearances in the 6-game stretch of games used for
relief stats. Also note the emphasis on appearances. If a
reliever is credited for a game, yet still has 0 IP, he is not
eligible to be replaced in the bullpen.
There will be no increase in roster size to account for this.
It is the opinion of BWB that you are better off making sure you
have sufficient backup for starting pitchers, but this provision
does allow you some roster flexibility and the chance to replace a
reliever who has questionable status.
Additional Post-Season Tournaments - for 2004 Playoff Season*
All BWB League Champions (and perhaps some wild card teams,
though maybe not in 2004) will play in a final tournament for the
season to determine a Benchwarmer Grand Champion. These games
will be scored in November as teams gear up to make their player
carry-over decisions for the coming season. Teams will submit
one lineup to last throughout all rounds - no changes will be
allowed. Games will be drawn from random games throughout the
As BWB continues to grow, leagues will be organized into
Associations and Federations, which in future years will provide the
structure for the early rounds of this tournament.
Scoring Formula Changes - for 2005 Season*
Pitching Formula - Raw Score*
A slight adjustment to take into consideration the number of hits
and walks a pitching staff gives up in a game. The new
pitching half of the formula looks like this:
P = ER + (BP
* BI) – a ( K + BK) – b (S) + c (E) + HBB
Where "HBB" is the new "Hits/Walks Adjustment"
HBB is an adjustment based on the total
number of hits and walks allowed by the team. For the starting
pitcher, that is simply the number he allows in his start. For the
bullpen, the number of hits and walks per inning is calculated for
the relievers that are used in the scoring formula. This value is
then multiplied by the number of bullpen innings (BI) and rounded to
the nearest integer.
Hits + Walks allowed
8 or fewer
11 to 13
16 or more
Pitching Formula - Perfect Games
Currently, 3 runs are deducted from a team's total score if the
opposing pitcher throws a complete game no hitter. Both teams
with Randy Johnson nearly lost in 2004 during his perfect game. It shouldn't be
automatic, but nearly a sure thing if your pitcher does that - thus
the reduction for a perfect game will be changed to 4 runs in 2005.
Pitching Formula - Complete Games
Although a team gets a definite benefit from having a pitcher
throw a complete game in not bringing in potential problems from the
bullpen, they may face a decided disadvantage from not
being able to include their closer(s)' saves into the pitching
formula. The raw pitching score for that team will be reduced
by .25 (the value of one save). Note - this refers to BWB
complete games - 9 innings pitched - not the MLB stat which could
include less than 9 innings.
Relief Pitcher minimums - for 2005 Season
This was last changed in 2003. Again, owing to how
differently bullpens are used, we're reducing the minimum innings
pitched for relievers. At the halfway point, the median value
of average innings short was just under 1 inning (the average was
much higher, but we're not trying to bail out teams that
consistently fall 2-3 innings short or more). Essentially we're dropping a third of an
inning at the #1, #3, and #5 positions.
See the Scoring Formula for more details on how
this is used.
Relief Pitcher - Missing Relievers - for 2005 season
Starting in 2004, for each pitcher short in the bullpen (for
example, the scoring formula says a team needs four relievers, but only have
three with eligible appearances), a Pinesitter Pitcher was added
in the bullpen. The line for that pitcher was set at 1 IP, 3 H, 3
BB, 0 K, 3 ER, 0 Sv.
The new line: 5 IP, 10 H, 10 BB, 0 K, 10 ER, 0 Sv
Minimum innings pitched values will remain the same and will be
factored in if the team is still short of the needed level.
The new line should help avoid the double whammy of missing a
pitcher but only getting one inning so still falling short of IP
See the Scoring Formula for more details on how
relievers are used. This change will not mean ten additional runs
given up in the game, but the ten runs will be used to determine
how many runs per inning the entire bullpen allows for the game.
You should also notice that the ratio has been dropped from 3 runs
per inning to 2 runs per inning. In any case, the moral of the story
continues for you to keep 5 healthy and active pitchers in